Library staff are facing the axe under cost-cutting proposals.

Meetings were held at libraries across West Sussex yesterday to unveil a new structure expected to save £318,000 a year.

Staff have three weeks to comment on the plans, which would see five jobs lost and some librarians demoted to library assistants.

But the county council’s Tory administration has insisted the service will not be in the firing line after the spending review.

Lib Dem councillor Bob Smytherman criticised the cuts, saying: “The library service is being diminished. This will hit the poorest people hardest as they are the ones who get the most benefit from libraries. Reducing the number of qualified staff in our libraries is only going to lead to a deterioration of the service to the public.”